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Abbott Emphasises Government’s Budget Strategy As Polls Head South

Amid a hostile reaction to proposals from the Audit Commission and opinion polls showing the government trailing the ALP, Prime Minister Tony Abbott has sought to focus attention on the government’s overall budget strategy.

In his weekly video message, Abbott concentrated on the Budget deficit and said “we must again live within our means, as we did in the Howard years”.

Abbott said all Australians needed to “chip in” so that the “legacy of debt” from the ALP can be controlled. He said: “Beyond a certain point, you don’t control debt; debt controls you.”

Abbott sought to move beyond short-term self-interest: “The Budget shouldn’t be about how much will be in our pockets today or tomorrow, it should be about our country and its future – and our ability to sustain for the long term important services and the social security net that is so important.”

The Prime Minister’s comments came as a Galaxy poll in News Corporation newspapers showed the ALP leading the government by 52-48% on a two-party-preferred basis, a fall of 2% for the government. The coalition’s primary vote slipped 4% from 43% in March to 39% last week. The poll shows the ALP’s primary vote unchanged on 37%.

  • Listen to Abbott’s message (3m)
  • Watch Abbott (3m)

Text of Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s weekly video message.

A message from the Prime Minister – Our Economic Action Strategy

In recent weeks, as I’ve met people across Australia and read their letters and emails, I’ve been asked why do we need to make big changes in this Budget?

It’s a fair question.

My answer is that you can’t fix the economy without fixing the Budget.

A strong Budget is the foundation for a strong country. This Budget is part of the Government’s Economic Action Strategy to build a stronger, more prosperous economy for a safe and secure Australia.

We must again live within our means – as we did in the Howard years – because that’s the foundation for future prosperity.

Since then, as you know, the previous Labor government ran up five record deficits. Labor also left $123 billion in deficits for coming years and $667 billion in projected debt.

The interest payments alone are around $1 billion every month – that’s dead money that could have been better spent on better services – and if we do nothing it will just get worse.

Beyond a certain point, you don’t control debt; debt controls you.

So, I want our country to be back in control of our destiny. When a country has a strong economy there is less pressure on families and more opportunities for small businesses to create well-paying jobs.

At the election, you the people said that you wanted a government that would fix the Budget and strengthen the economy and that is exactly what we are doing.

The Budget shouldn’t be about how much will be in our pockets today or tomorrow, it should be about our country and its future – and our ability to sustain for the long term important services and the social security net that is so important.

By all of us chipping in – we can chip away at this legacy of debt.

Sharing the burden makes it lighter for all of us.

So, the Government will do the right thing by Australia in this Budget – so that we can all share in the jobs and the prosperity that should follow.

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